Canadian building permits fell to the lowest in almost a year in February as declines in non-residential work exceeded higher intentions for new housing.
The value of municipal permits fell 0.9 percent to C$6.11 billion ($4.88 billion), following a revised 12.3 percent January drop, Statistics Canada said Thursday in Ottawa. Economists forecast a 3.3 percent increase, according to the median of 10 responses to a Bloomberg survey.
Permits for non-residential construction declined 5.4 percent to C$2 billion, including a 6.2 percent fall in commercial buildings such as warehouses. Residential permits rose 1.5 percent to C$4.12 billion in February, led by the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia.
The value of non-residential building permits was down 23.4 percent in February from the same month a year earlier, while residential intentions have gained 7.5 percent.
Permits in Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, fell 21.7 percent to C$1.01 billion in February on fewer multiple-unit housing plans.